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Regent University Dean Launches Library Leadership Council

Regent University Dean Launches Library Leadership Council
Dr. Esther Gillie
Dean, Regent University Library

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (March 30, 2021) – The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) recently approved a proposal submitted by Dean of Regent University Library Esther Gillie to establish a CCCU Library Leadership Council. This important initiative seeks to establish robust interaction with other CCCU councils to help libraries better serve their institutions and patrons.

Gillie will serve as the initial council chair, partnering with four other library deans and directors from various CCCU institutions and two liaisons from CCCU. According to Gillie, there is a tremendous need for research concerning CCCU libraries, and she hopes to enhance research opportunities and scholarship activity.

“It is my privilege to have been elected to serve as the initial chair for this council, and my goals include helping libraries understand institutional challenges, pivoting as necessary, and raising awareness of what libraries are capable of providing,” she said.

The purpose of the council will be to foster the development of strong libraries and library leadership in the CCCU by promoting collaboration among library leaders, provosts and presidents of academic affairs, faculty and other stakeholders in the work of libraries. Specifically, the council will:

  1. Facilitate library directors and deans learning from one another regarding the common challenges faced in developing, sustaining, and growing well-aligned and supportive libraries.
  2. Identify and disseminate information about best practices in library and information science realms through a listserv and networking conferences.
  3. Promote collaboration with one another on research about libraries and library leadership in the CCCU, in order to better inform our campus leaders and the broader academic community.
  4. Explore the potential of collaborative bargaining for resources and participation in various information initiatives such as OER.

The new council also will investigate establishing a concerted voice and visibility with other campus departments, as well as how to best foster collaborative initiatives and research agendas.

The CCCU serves 180 colleges and universities globally (140 in the United States) which will broaden efforts to keep libraries aligned with institutional directions.

“I am excited to be on the leading edge of opening new possibilities and realms of opportunity for CCCU library directors and deans,” said Gillie. “I look forward to identifying library leaders who will help create this new council in ways that will move the work of academic libraries for CCCU institutions forward in positive ways.”

Gillie has served as dean of Regent University Library since 2016. She has published numerous journal articles, books, and book chapters, and serves as a mentor for ACRL’s College Library Directors Mentor Program, the ACL mentor program, and the Mentor Program at UIUC. She has an active ministry with cancer patients and has authored Breath Prayers for Cancer Patients and Breath Prayers for Anxiety. Her most recent book, A Prayer Vocabulary, was released in March 2021. Gillie teaches Spiritual Formation classes for the School of Divinity at Regent University, having earned her M.Div. and D.Min. at Northeastern Seminary. She was previously the director of the B. Thomas Golisano Library at Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, NY, and has held library positions at the University of Connecticut, the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and Sibley Music Library at the University of Rochester, NY.

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Founded in 1978, Regent University is America’s premier Christian university with over 11,000 students online and on campus in Virginia Beach, VA. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 150 areas of study, including business, communication and the arts, cybersecurity and technology, divinity, education, government, law, leadership, nursing and healthcare, and psychology. Regent University tops the list of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Virginia and is ranked among top national universities by U.S. News & World Report. Along with a commitment to academic excellence, what sets Regent apart is our mission to prepare men and women to excel both in mind and spirit. Our students, faculty and administrators share a calling, founded on biblical principles, to make a significant difference in our world.